It looks like the battle of the dual-GPU graphics cards is really starting to heat up. Photos of what appears to be a slide describing AMD’s upcoming HD 6990 graphics card – codenamed Antilles – giving us the first hints of what it might be capable of has spread online.
According to photos, the card will have 3,840 stream processors, 4GB GDDR5 and be capable of providing a simply breathtaking amount of raw compute-power. At the very least, this should deliver a pretty significant performance boost over the 3,200-core HD 5970. All this will fit within a 300W TDP with idle power dropping as low as 30W, while outputs will purportedly include a pair of DVI ports and three Mini DisplayPort connectors for five-monitor Eyefinity gaming.
We obviously can’t draw too many more conclusions about the HD 6990 from these specs, but it does give some clues as to what the single-GPU Cayman-powered cards might be. Assuming that these specs are correct, a single HD 6970 could have as many as 1,920 stream processors – up from the 1,536 that we’d previously heard – and a 2GB frame buffer.
However, According to GPU roadmaps offered to analysts, the ATI Radeon HD 6990 dual-GPU graphics card won’t be available until the first quarter of next year. While it’s not a major delay, it gives the Nvidia GTX 580, which Nvidia claims is the fastest DirectX 11 card around, time to gain traction in the market place.
While the Cayman-based Radeon HD 6970 GPU will give ATI a high-performance competitor to rival Nvidia’s GTX 580, many were hoping to see the Radeon HD 6990 dual-GPU card, previously codenamed the Antilles, this year.
ATI’s new range is certainly a monster of a card, but so it should be with its dual-GPU powers. The question remains, however: can it offer real competition to Nvidia’s just-launched GTX 580 GPU?
Until official pricing information is available from AMD’s hardware partners, expected in a few week’s time, that’s a question to which only AMD knows the answer.